A high level agreement to share information should been reached and defined using an information sharing protocol, or a similar partnership agreement. The data to be shared should then be defined and agreed within an information sharing agreement. This will set out the necessary details to share relevant information appropriately.
To ensure that the information can and will be shared, it is important to make sure that a number of questions are asked at this stage.
- Are all existing information sharing protocols and agreements available for review?
- Should the agreement relate to any associated information sharing protocols, partnership agreements and other strategic documents?
- Do partners understand why an agreement is needed and what its purpose will be?
- Are the context and scope of the agreement clearly defined and understood?
- Are the responsibilities of individual members of staff clearly defined and understood?
- Are the purposes for which information is required clearly defined and are the information requirements fully explored and understood?
- Has due consideration been given to the legality of sharing the information and its use once shared?
- Will the information be safe during transfer and after sharing?
- Have the appropriate communication channels been identified to ensure that the agreement and the consequences of sharing are known by the relevant people?
- Is there a process in place to feedback any problems in relation to access, the information, data quality etc?
It is a good idea to complete an information sharing agreement with partners to ensure that the information entered is correct. This can be used to transfer the information between partners.